Today marks my 5th year in Traveloka as a software engineer. 5 years ago, I didn't think I will stay this long in one company. Sure, maybe 2 or 3 years working on something, but not half a decade! Millennials are supposed to change jobs often, right?
I didn't even consider working in software engineering until after the last year of college. That's the reason that I have a degree in electrical engineering, not computer science.
I applied to work in Traveloka because I believe the CTO cares about technology. I knew that I will learn a lot from my colleagues. After all, smart people attract other smart people.
Of course, it's not entirely sunshine and rainbows.
When I first joined, I got to work on Java codebase. That was also the first time I'm writing Java code. Safe to say, I broke production several times. What made it worse was the fact that to release / rollback I had to SSH into 4 dozen servers in the AWS and wait for connection draining manually. I remembered learning tmux to sync command across terminal to save my time (and my sanity).
Eventually, it gets better. We tried Ansible for automating workflow, migrated our frontend into separate node.js services, added a CI system & code reviews, and now we have staging deployments for every pull request. All of these were added over the course of several years.
In a way, tech in Traveloka is not fancy. If you only like to work on shiny new tech, prepare for disappointment. Here, boring tech is celebrated. Which makes you wonder, why do I stay that long then, isn't that boring?
If I didn't get any chance to work on something interesting, I might get bored and leave. But somehow there's always something interesting to do. At least for now.
I'm currently working on the design system in Traveloka while building our next web framework codenamed TVLK5 (no, the 5 is not from my tenure, yes this is a nice coincidence). Just because we use boring technology, doesn't mean we can't have exciting projects. Most importantly, these are projects that aim to solve our pain points over the years.
I always dreaded the question "Where do you see yourself in X years?". I've never had a goal. I do things that are interesting, fun, useful, or helpful. This is, of course, assuming money is not a problem anymore.
I've been tinkering on the web since high school. I love the quick feedback loop. Being able to instantly see what I create is a satisfying feeling. I don't think I'm moving away from this medium anytime soon. I'm also exploring cross-platform app development, but this is mostly to solve my problems and my own curiosity.
1 thing is clear for me, I won't be focusing on cloud infrastructure. This is why a platform like Zeit Now, Netlify, and even a new approach to programming language like Dark is intriguing to me. They're empowering people like me to build things, and most importantly, ship things.